Scottish Daily Mail

Students in sex classes walk-out

- By Eleanor Harding

STUDENTS staged a walk-out yesterday in protest against a university’s first ‘consent classes’ aimed at preventing rape and sexual harassment on campus.

Every first-year student was expected to attend the sessions at York University, although officials said attendance was not compulsory.

Student union leaders said the ‘gender neutral’ lessons were necessary to protect freshers’ ‘wellbeing, physically and mentally’. The aim of the classes is to make students aware of the definition of rape and how to avoid raping someone or becoming a rape victim. But others branded the ten-minute classes ‘patronisin­g’.

One consent class saw a quarter of freshers walk out and handfuls walked out of several of the others.

Campus activist Ben Froughi, 23, a third-year accounting student, stood outside some of the sessions encouragin­g students to boycott the talks.

‘Consent talks are patronisin­g,’ he said. ‘If students really need lessons in how to say yes or no, then they should not be at university.’

The talks were led by students’ union women’s officers Mia ChaudhuriJ­ulyan and Lucy Robinson. They claimed Mr Froughi’s behaviour led to a compromisi­ng of students’ safety.

A York University spokesman said: ‘The university supports the student union’s voluntary gender-neutral sexual consent briefings for new students as an aspect of the health and personal safety induction we give at the start of the academic year.’

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